Upcoming Movies on TV (UK)

Discuss films and filmmakers of the 20th century (and even a little of the 19th century). Threads may contain spoilers.
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colinr0380
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Re: Upcoming Movies on TV (UK)

#626 Post by colinr0380 » Mon Apr 30, 2018 7:22 am

I quite liked Mountain, though I think I might have seen a shorter version as imbd lists this as running for 75 minutes, but the version BBC4 showed was only an hour. This is a film about humanity’s apparent eternal fascination with mountains and much of Willem Dafoe’s voiceover is about the ‘beauty and mysterious power’ that the landscape holds over the crazies who decide to climb them for whatever reason.

As you might guess, I have never been that convinced about people’s motivations for mountain climbing as anything more than something thrill seekers do, looking to push themselves to (and often beyond) their limits, and I was bracing myself for the film to be entirely unquestioningly on the side of these ‘daring pioneers’. Which it is to a certain extent, but the thing that really endeared this film to me so much were those brief moments in which the narration itself voices some ambivalence towards the motivations of the climbers, or at least modern day extreme sports pioneers.

It is really well structured to move from the expected starting point of celebrating the tenacity of your classical mountain climbers, pushing themselves to limits and ever in search of new heights to scale (with a slight implication that they’ll never be satisfied and forever want to put their mark on nature with the montage of people almost falling off cliff faces and proudly showing off their bloody wounds, or sharing a doobie on the summit), but then it really surprised me by moving into more ambivalent areas as we see people pushing the boundaries of what they want to do on and around a mountain (there is some spectacular footage of a person tightrope walking from one mountain peak to another, presumably being circled by a helicopter to capture the footage). Stunts get ever bigger and more dangerous and soon we start seeing people riding mountain bikes (literalising the name, I suppose!), base jumping from peaks, or even snowboarding down almost vertical slopes, setting off mini-avalanches in their wake.

At one point someone is doing windsurf-skiing using a snowboard and a parachute (with a big Red Bull branding logo on it) to go down a mountain, and this footage seems like the catalyst for the narration to voice a few concerns about people filming themselves doing ever more spectacular stunts ‘for the views’ online (and there is a bit of footage at that point of people failing to pull off their stunts, or getting engulfed in the avalanche that they triggered!). The Red Bull logo is perfectly placed to suggest that shift in philosophy from ‘because its there’ to ‘because my sponsor and viewers expect it’, and to its credit the narration expresses that concern. As it does later on showing the long line of hundreds of people following each other up marked out climbing routes (“this isn’t climbing; its queueing and mass crowd control”) before suggesting that it is more the Sherpas who deserve to be credited for their courage, as those who do not have any choice in putting their lives on the line shepherding the next group of people fancying themselves to be intrepid climbers up and down the mountain. There are also a few expected shot of Tibetan Buddhists in their mountaintop monasteries, presumably also being celebrated since we do not see any Western tourists (not even Batman!) visiting them!

And then the final third of the film drops the slightly irritating human element entirely and shifts into an almost Koyaanisqatsi-like phase (albeit with Dafoe’s narration continuing unabated) of focusing on the majesty of the mountains themselves, and the clouds swirling around them. There is some amazing footage here of new rock being formed as the hot lava reaches the surface and then immediately cools. Or the falling and thawing of the snow in timelapse footage. Plus an amazing time lapse shot of the ice sheets raising and lowering that seems intended to look like the mountain is breathing in and out. That sort of makes the entire film feel worthwhile, as it goes beyond celebrating the human struggle of mountaineers to showing the power and beauty of mountains and trying to illustrate directly exactly what attracts (at least some!) people to these locations – not subjugating the natural world to our tenacity at conquering it (and proving our superior skills over others), but in simply wanting to exist in such environments and see such sights for ourselves. That the film felt powerful even to someone as ambivalent as I am toward people’s motivations for climbing must mean that it was doing something right!

On Willem Dafoe’s narration, I could see people having a strongly polarised reaction to it. If seen a bit cynically (which I admit I often do!), it can just come across as a bit of New Age-y cod philosophising about just how great mountains are – all a bit fluffy and inconclusively noodly sounding (which is also what made the couple of tetchy, specific comments about human activity stand out all the more strongly!). The way that I often interpret ‘cod philosophising’, and why I often get quite aggravated by it, is mostly because it seems disingenuous, suggesting that a filmmaker is too afraid to go entirely poetic and instead want to have their voiceover contain nuggets of ‘hard facts’ in there to provide a concrete reason for why they are showing you all of these images. That can end up with a film occupying an unsatisfying middle ground approached either from wanting a purely dry factual documentary or a poetic one! (It feels that only really Patrick Keiller’s films occupy this ‘middle ground’ entirely successfully for me, and that is because they are fictional narrative pieces to a certain extent, and have that narrative structural core to them, even whilst being entirely made out of ‘real world’ documentary material) I think this is going to be subjective for each viewer but just speaking for myself I think that the narration here fell just on the right side of the ‘poetic’ line, such that after a while it did not really matter exactly what Dafoe was saying in particular, just that he was having a reverie about the subject of mountains and was inviting us to share it!

I am curious as to how important the filmmakers felt the narration was to getting their message across (something like Patrick Keiller’s slightly more avant garde Robinson In Ruins has an option on the Blu-ray and DVD to play the film with or without Vanessa Redgrave’s narration, which kind of transforms the meaning of the film into a much more personal one when you are just left to make sense of the imagery presented for yourself). I do like the poetic aspect of it but without that narration, especially when events move onto a tectonic timescale in the final section and perhaps with a slightly more adventurous bespoke choice of musical themes, we could be watching another Powaqqatsi, or suchlike!

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Re: Upcoming Movies on TV (UK)

#627 Post by jlnight » Tue May 01, 2018 2:24 pm

Swiss Miss, Tues 8th May, Talking Pictures.

The Bohemian Girl, Thu 10th May, Talking Pictures.
Buchanan Rides Alone, Thu 10th May, Film4.

A Chump at Oxford, Fri 11th May, Talking Pictures.
Stretch and Bobbito: Radio That Changed Lives, late Fri 11th May, Film4. Played at LFF 2015.
The Playbirds, late Fri 11th May, London Live.**

The Killing of Sister George, Sat 12th May, Talking Pictures.

Way Out West, Sun 13th May, Talking Pictures. Followed by Amelia and the Angel.

Attack, Mon 14th May, Film4.
The Sessions, late Mon 14th May, Film4.

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Re: Upcoming Movies on TV (UK)

#628 Post by colinr0380 » Wed May 02, 2018 1:32 pm

The final episode of Cunk On Britain is titled after that famous Francis Fukuyama quote: Episode 5: The Arse End of History, which goes from the 1960s to the futuristic world of 2017. You can really feel the simmering anger with some great quotes in this one:

"...but all that was about to change thanks to four boys from Liverpool: George, Ringo and their guitarists...", which segues into a discussion of the work they did under their 'psychopathic' drugs.

"What was the difference between punk rock and just being angry but without a guitar?". And some rare footage of the most terrifyingly subversive punk rock song of them all.

"The pill: a condom you can eat. A sort of 'get out of child free' card."

"With his love of yachts, classical music and church organs, Edward Heath seemed to be a real man of the people..."

"[In the 1970s]...because the lights kept going out at a moment's notice, plunging everyone into darkness, there was no point dressing nicely and as a result the world of fashion decided to simply give up..."

"Right...what's a mine?", "Right...what's coal?"

"Suddenly having money was cool and no one had more money than the Yuppies, or Young Urban Twats."

"Britain was in a right state, not only financially but also economically and in money terms too."

"Diana's death couldn't have come at a worse time for a nation that had just got into being really judgemental about her sex life."

"Blair slinked off to live inside a haunted mirror, leaving No. 10 under the stewardship of a man who had all of the carefree joie de vivre of a haunted cave in Poland, Gorgon Brown."

"[On the economy] If we took maths out of the equation, it would be much easier..."

"The Scots held something called a referendum, which is a way of asking the public what they want to happen and then actually taking them seriously, unlike in an election"

I'm glad that we now live in a world where Chris Evans means an American actor in Marvel movies rather than the 90s one! Though I do miss that Proddy-guy. I also like that no matter how bad things got, people always liked a good street bonfire to create a sense of togetherness! It made the Olympics look as if they were just a bit late in jumping on the bandwagon!

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Re: Upcoming Movies on TV (UK)

#629 Post by Mr. Deltoid » Wed May 02, 2018 3:10 pm

colinr0380 wrote:The final episode of Cunk On Britain is titled after that famous Francis Fukuyama quote: Episode 5: The Arse End of History, which goes from the 1960s to the futuristic world of 2017. You can really feel the simmering anger with some great quotes in this one:

"...but all that was about to change thanks to four boys from Liverpool: George, Ringo and their guitarists...", which segues into a discussion of the work they did under their 'psychopathic' drugs.

"What was the difference between punk rock and just being angry but without a guitar?". And some rare footage of the most terrifyingly subversive punk rock song of them all.

"The pill: a condom you can eat. A sort of 'get out of child free' card."

"With his love of yachts, classical music and church organs, Edward Heath seemed to be a real man of the people..."

"[In the 1970s]...because the lights kept going out at a moment's notice, plunging everyone into darkness, there was no point dressing nicely and as a result the world of fashion decided to simply give up..."

"Right...what's a mine?", "Right...what's coal?"

"Suddenly having money was cool and no one had more money than the Yuppies, or Young Urban Twats."

"Britain was in a right state, not only financially but also economically and in money terms too."

"Diana's death couldn't have come at a worse time for a nation that had just got into being really judgemental about her sex life."

"Blair slinked off to live inside a haunted mirror, leaving No. 10 under the stewardship of a man who had all of the carefree joie de vivre of a haunted cave in Poland, Gorgon Brown."

"[On the economy] If we took maths out of the equation, it would be much easier..."

"The Scots held something called a referendum, which is a way of asking the public what they want to happen and then actually taking them seriously, unlike in an election"

I'm glad that we now live in a world where Chris Evans means an American actor in Marvel movies rather than the 90s one! Though I do miss that Proddy-guy. I also like that no matter how bad things got, people always liked a good street bonfire to create a sense of togetherness! It made the Olympics look as if they were just a bit late in jumping on the bandwagon!
I don't know, I can't generate much enthusiasm for this series. I thought Cunk was mildly amusing on NewsWipe in bite-size chunks, but this series really stretches the joke thin. I realise I'm probably in a minority with this one. Perhaps it's just Mockumentary fatigue, which seems like the default format for every BBC2/3 comedy these days (e.g. W1A, This Country, that People Just Do Whatnot thing etc.)? That's not to say there weren't lines that made me laugh, but I guess all the mock-anti-intellectualism just wore me down. Also, the series felt a bit of an inside joke with all the Media personalities involved (Robert Peston and critic Mark Lawson were surely in on the joke, no?) which robbed the satire of any edge. Also (he says, waving his finger in the air :D ) that line about Brown skirted very close to my favourite Brooker quote where he described Anne Widdicome as having the face of a haunted Russian cave!

I dunno, I must be losing it in my old age. I caught some bits of Mrs. Brown's Boys on Saturday night and - in spite of my best judgement - found myself laughing involuntary. What's happening to me?

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Re: Upcoming Movies on TV (UK)

#630 Post by thirtyframesasecond » Wed May 02, 2018 4:31 pm

I wouldn't watch Mrs Brown's Boys out of choice, but it's bound to be one of the better sitcoms of that kind. The kind of stuff on the BBC now makes you pine for the days of My Hero.

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Re: Upcoming Movies on TV (UK)

#631 Post by colinr0380 » Wed May 02, 2018 5:06 pm

Image
I must admit that I avoided W1A and TwentyTwelve (and the other 'satires' you mention) like the plague. I think those series were the definition of being self unaware! (kind of a view of what might have happened if MPs had a hand in making The Thick of It)

And I quite like Mrs Brown's Boys too (I can even just about manage the bits when it goes treacly sentimental because it shouldn't be long until Mrs Brown is riding a Christmas tree like a bucking bronco before making a double entendre sex joke with a naughty word). Next to the BBC's attempts to manufacture other series in the same vein such as the excruciating Citizen Khan, its a masterpiece!

Plus I still find it mind boggling that that Mrs Brown is a development of the same character that Angelica Huston played in the film she directed of O'Carroll's story, Agnes Browne! Before O'Carroll ended up playing the part himself! For contrast here's Agnes Browne and here's Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie.

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Re: Upcoming Movies on TV (UK)

#632 Post by colinr0380 » Fri May 11, 2018 5:33 pm

Just a couple of things next week: tomorrow Film4 is premiering the Mads Mikkelsen comedy Men & Chicken at 11.15 p.m., followed by the Simon Pegg comedy A Fantastic Fear of Everything (which is finally getting a non-DOG-tagged, non-sign language version following its first Channel 4 showing)

Tomorrowland is on BBC2 at 6 p.m. on Sunday 13th, and the trend of horror directors tackling TV movies continues apace with Fatal Close-Up (aka Witness Unprotected according to imdb, directed by Fred Olen Ray and starring Daphne Zuniga) on Channel 5 at 3.15 p.m. on Thursday 17th

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Re: Upcoming Movies on TV (UK)

#633 Post by jlnight » Sun May 13, 2018 5:34 am

Paper Towns, Wed 16th May, Film4.

Junior Bonner, Sat 19th May, Talking Pictures. Straw Dogs is on later.

Hell in the Pacific, Sun 20th May, Talking Pictures.

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Re: Upcoming Movies on TV (UK)

#634 Post by colinr0380 » Sun May 13, 2018 5:12 pm

The Martian is on Channel 4 at 9 p.m. on Saturday 19th.

And also there is apparently going to be a modern-dress version of King Lear directed by Richard Eyre and starring Anthony Hopkins as Lear with Emma Thompson, Emily Watson and Florence Pugh as the three sisters turning up on BBC2 at some point.

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Re: Upcoming Movies on TV (UK)

#635 Post by colinr0380 » Wed May 16, 2018 3:20 pm

Its not too bad next week: Channel 4 are premiering Sinister 2 at 11.50 p.m. on Saturday 19th (just after The Martian); Film4 are finally getting around to showing Stuck In Love (at 1 a.m. on the morning of Tuesday 22nd) after postponing it at the last minute a month or two ago; and the centrepiece of BBC4's current space season is the French series Missions (Episode 1 & 2 this Thursday 17th at 9 p.m; 3 & 4 at the same time on Thursday 24th)

And throughout next week Film4 have lots of westerns: the usual suspects of The Spoilers, Slow West, 40 Guns To Apache Pass, Tomahawk, Arizona Raiders, My Darling Clementine, Last Train From Gun Hill, which all relatively routinely turn up on the channel. Though there are two quite rarely shown Charlton Heston starring westerns: Untamed West (aka The Far Horizons) at 4.30 p.m. on Monday 21st and The Savage at 4.55 p.m. on Thursday 24th.

And this is probably all to do with the premiere of Jane Got A Gun at 10.40 p.m. on Thursday 24th.

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Re: Upcoming Movies on TV (UK)

#636 Post by domino harvey » Wed May 16, 2018 6:50 pm

The Far Horizons is a remarkably bad film, pencil it in at your own peril!

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Re: Upcoming Movies on TV (UK)

#637 Post by jlnight » Fri May 18, 2018 5:10 am

Creepshow, Sat 26th May, Film4. Part of a double bill with something called Stephen King's Cell.

Sing Street, Mon 28th May, Film4.

Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, Tues 29th May, Film4.

Jigsaw, Thu 31st May, Talking Pictures. ("Great shots of Brighton in the 60s").

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Re: Upcoming Movies on TV (UK)

#638 Post by colinr0380 » Fri May 18, 2018 12:31 pm

jlnight wrote:Creepshow, Sat 26th May, Film4. Part of a double bill with something called Stephen King's Cell.
That is the premiere of the Samuel L. Jackson and John Cusack starring adaptation of King's 'cellphone signals turning people into zombies' novel. Though while it is nice to see Creepshow turn up on Film4, a much more apt double bill with Cell would have probably been the John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson starring adaptation of a Stephen King story, 1408!

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Re: Upcoming Movies on TV (UK)

#639 Post by colinr0380 » Tue May 22, 2018 5:50 pm

That previously mentioned new version of King Lear is showing at 9.30 p.m. on BBC2 on Monday 28th May (it is running for 115 minutes, so likely not a full text version!). And the most interesting (for the setting if not so much for the 'true story of getting onto a Arab Idol singing show' premise on display in the trailer) new film of the week is the Gaza-set drama The Idol on Film4 at 1.20 a.m. on Thursday 31st May. Also episodes 5 & 6 of Missions on BBC4 from 10 p.m. on Thursday 31st.

A couple of interesting repeats: Dressed To Kill is showing at 1.10 a.m. on Monday 28th on Film4. Also Rio Conchos is on BBC2 at 12.45 p.m. on Thursday 31st.

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